Diagnosed with a rare blood cancer, platelet transfusions saved Erik's life.
“I’d started feeling really tired at work – and I mean really, really tired. However, despite going to the doctors again and again, and having countless tests done, no-one seemed to be able to work out what was wrong. I used to go home for lunch each day, but after a while I started skipping lunch to just sleep, and soon the weight started falling off me. I look back at photos now, and it’s hard to believe it’s the same person – I’ve always been a big guy, but I’d lost four stones, and my clothes were hanging off me.
I remember looking at the blood bag and thinking about the person who had done this thing for me – and if they hadn’t, I'd have had no chance.
“Eventually it was a bone doctor who diagnosed it what it was – a rare type of blood cancer, called Hairy Cell Leukaemia. In all honesty, even just knowing what it was, I started to feel better right there in the doctor’s surgery – after so many months, it was good to get a diagnosis. However, when my partner and I got up to drive to the hospital, the doctor told me to sit back down again. He called an ambulance and I was driven off to hospital in it, sirens blaring, and it was only then it dawned on me how ill I really was.
“In the hospital I started receiving transfusions. I’ve actually lost track of how many, because I was in there for a long time, and I wasn’t always completely with it. However, I remember one time quite clearly, looking at the bag as the platelets dripped into me and thinking that there was a person out there who had done this for me – and if they hadn’t done this thing, I would have had no chance. It was a scary thought, but I was intensely grateful.
“I hadn’t given blood before – it just wasn’t a thing that had occurred to me to do, but I look back now and I wish I had. Everyone who can should give blood. It’s such a simple thing to do, but it can mean the difference between life and death.”
- To sign up as a blood donor, call us on 0345 90 90 999 or fill out our online form.